Mike

DAP_Ambassador_Mike_Smith_ShaneWynnPhoto
Photo credit: Shane Wynn

“I’m from Huntington, West Virginia. I came to Akron in 1977 — my job brought me here. I was employed by Consolidated Freightways as a supervisor. Then I moved on to Pacific Intermountain Express. I was a company buyer there for about six years. I have a degree in transportation, so that’s what steered me in that direction. I’m also a former highway patrolman. I lived in Columbus and worked out of Delaware. I was a cop in Huntington City. I’ve done a little bit of everything.

“The important thing about being a Downtown Akron Partnership Ambassador is keeping the downtown area clean. I’ve been in a lot of places driving charter buses and semis, and you know the first impression is the lasting one. It looks better when you have clean streets. Trash stands out.

“Another important part of being an ambassador is you meet a lot of people: nice people, interesting people. Making the right impression when people approach you for directions or information makes a big difference. You can tell when you see someone on Main St. looking around — every building isn’t labeled with an address. So you approach them first and it takes the stress off of them. They appreciate it.

“Because I work from Sunday through Tuesday, I go and pick up any trash around the METRO terminal (Robert K. Pfaff Transit Center). When I come in on Sunday, that’s my first stop of the day. Doing both sides of the terminal and anything on the grass, and it makes it look better for Monday. Next month, I’ll pressure wash the platform on the Broadway side.

“I’m just a normal dude, retired and needed something to do, so I came downtown. Darrell (another ambassador) brought me on. He said, ‘I know you can work, because I’ve seen you around all the time.’ And it’s turned out to be a pretty good deal because the work is not hard, and you get to meet people. And that’s the idea: helping people go on their way and through their day without any difficulty. If you can relieve some of the stress with directions and what have you, it’s pretty cool.”

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